Wazza Said So!

The United Fanatics' blog

CL Matchday 1: Besiktas vs Manchester United

Posted by united4ever2009 on September 15, 2009

Manchester United begin their quest to avenge last season’s UEFA Champions League final defeat to Barcelona when they face Besiktas on Tuesday.

Red Devils manager Sir Alex Ferguson and a number of his senior players have confessed the manner of their 2-0 defeat in Rome at the hands of Barca still wrangles, with the Scot admitting he would love another final showdown with the Catalans this term.

United travel to Turkey on the back of their 3-1 win against Tottenham at White Hart Lane in what many described as their best performance of the season.

However the Premier League champions have been handed a tricky opening group with long distance flights to Turkey and Russia, along with what promises to be a tough test in Germany against Bundesliga champions Wolfsburg.

Besiktas will be aiming to prove to be worthy opponents on home soil and will be determined to restore some pride after losing 3-0 to fierce rivals Galatasaray in the Istanbul derby on Saturday.

United have played against both Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe in Europe over the last 15 years and will have an idea of what to expect in the Inonu Stadium. The Besiktas fans are sure to have the ground shaking come kick-off.

Dismal start

Despite often living in the shadow of city rivals Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray, Besiktas are Turkey’s only representatives in the competition.

However the Black Eagles have begun this season dismally having taken just six points from their first five league games.

The hosts will have to do without defender Ibrahim Toraman due to a heel injury but other than that, Besiktas will be at full strength.

Besiktas goalkeeper Rustu Recber will be looking to banish memories of the last time he faced Wayne Rooney after the England striker put three goals past him on his United debut in a 6-2 win over Fenerbahçe at Old Trafford in 2004.

United will have to be wary of the attacking threat posed by Nihat Kahveci after he joined Besiktas in the summer following a successful seven year stay in Spain, playing for Real Sociedad and Villarreal.

Meanwhile Besiktas will be looking to do better than the last time they faced English opposition after they lost 8-0 to Liverpool at Anfield in 2007, a record Champions League loss.

United team news

Rio Ferdinand should keep his place after he came through the full 90 minutes at Spurs unscathed having missed the first four games of the season with a thigh injury.

John O’Shea was expected to miss the match against Spurs having returned from international duty with a calf complaint but he came through to complete the full game and he should start again.

Ferguson is likely to mix his squad up once more so Michael Carrick, Nani and Park Ji-Sung could all be pushing for a place in the starting line-up.


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